Do you know that sinking feeling when you reach into your pocket or purse and – oh no – your wallet is not there? Thankfully, it is usually resolved by checking another pocket or remembering that you left it at home; but those moments when you just aren’t sure can be excruciating.As if the prospect of losing your cards isn’t scary enough, consider that even while you hold your card in your hand, there could be someone out there making charges on a card with identical numbers. This kind of credit card fraud is becoming more common. A criminal can obtain your numbers from a data breach or an internet connection that is not secure. They can also use devices called skimmers. These can be hand held or attach to machines like ATMs and gas pumps, and are used to read and store your credit card information. When you hand your card off to a waiter in a restaurant, there is even the possibility that they take photos of it with their phone. Once they have your information, they can use it to make a fake card. Getting the fraudulent charges off of your account can be an inconvenience, so you should check your accounts on a regular basis so you can hopefully catch it before they spend too much of your money.Credit card fraud becomes even more of an ordeal if you are a victim of identity theft. If someone has your social security number, they can apply for a whole new card in your name. Monitoring your accounts won’t help you identify credit fraud in this case, because you won’t know that the account exists. The damage can go even deeper than maxing your cards or draining your bank account, the damage done to your credit score can be devastating. An identity fraud protection service can help keep this from happening by notifying you when someone tries to open a new account in your name.
So hold tight to the cards in your wallet, but keep checking your accounts and consider a fraud monitoring service to help keep you safe.
3901 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151